Article 95

My Fair Berlin

I got Richard Chamberlain away from his My Fair Lady rehearsals and did a tour of Berlin with him. The international star said "My Fair Berlin."

"Are you the actor?" little Amir (10) gave a tug at the international star's sleeve. Tour of the city with Richard Chamberlain for two hours the My Fair Lady star was taken around Berlin. At first, Berliners looked at him quite shy: is it him, then? So "Welcome in Berlin" The souvenir-seller at the Brandenburg Gate nodded invitingly. The little Amir from Kreugberg nudged himself forward, and now the spell was broken. Everyone wanted an autograph from Richard Chamberlain.

"Goodness, that was nice!" beamed Richard Chamberlain. The children appealed to him. "So multi-cultural! That's so great in Berlin - this many You see super-smart people, bearded Nobel prize winners, people in gaily-coloured jogging clothes and techno-hippies." Richard Chamberlain is very happy. Finally seeing more of Berlin than just from a car window. He is rehearsing enthusiastically, for from November 14th - 25th in the Schiller Theatre, "The rain in Spain will stay mainly in the Plains."

Richard Chamberlain whistles a tune: over and over. What is it? "That's a duet, "You did it" that I sing with Colonel Pickering. "He's got the catchy number on his brain now.

He is relaxed about expectations of the five million DM production. "I'm just a small cog, and it's so nice to be acting again before an audience, doing a play from beginning to the end. In the new Thorn Birds filming Amanda Donohoe - the new Meggie - and I had to do the most passionate love-scene on the very first day. We didn't know each other very well and so we were naturally quite wooden." Richard Chamberlain laughs and whistles on.

Further on they came to the Berlin Cathedral. "My goodness, how splendid!" he said, looking up into the high dome. "How high might that be?" I whisper "116 metre." Then he discovers the organ. "Oh, how lovely!" and he makes a mental note: organ concert in Berlin Cathedral.

Outside, Richard Chamberlain stirs the dust with his feet. "Ah at last a real autumn again. That's what I miss most of all at home in Hawaii - the seasons." How is his daily routine, then, at present? "Very regulated: get up, fruit breakfast in my room. Before breakfast, I can't see anyone. Off to the theatre, rehearsals, in the evening, dine with colleagues. Then televiewing in bed - mostly CNN - and off to sleep early. I know when we're acting, I get to bed much later. The excitement, you see. Then I go for a walk through the streets of the sleeping city. I look forward to that: all alone on the Friedrichstrane at night. How romantic!"

I advise him: You'll have to have a look at the Oranienburger Strasse. Terrific pubs and the most beautiful prostitutes in the city. Richard Chamberlain almost chokes with a fit of laughter. "The most beautiful prostitutes? Oh, let's go there now." He fumbles in his trousers' pocket, pulls out a few bank notes. "Let's take a photo there with the ladies." He holds up the money, "Here?" Did he really want to? "Well - no. I can't do that to my fans."

Meanwhile the Audi has brought us to the Tacheles Cultural Centre. Richard Chamberlain goes up to a wall drawing. "Wow! What energy there is in that!" With an expert's eye, the ex-art student and part-time painter studies the wall-picture. "That gives me itchy fingers. When I get time, I'll sit down with my drawing pad in the park."

Richard Chamberlain enthuses. "Oh, this city of Berlin! All these trees. That makes the city so human. But best of all: here you can see and hear history. Imagine what Berlin has gone through in this century! Great - now with re-unification. Even though it is fairly expensive - and fairly noisy!" Richard Chamberlain goes on about the building noise from the 900 building sites in the centre.

Soon it's quieter. They go to the Charlottenburg Castle. In the castle grounds, Richard Chamberlain discovers an old lamp-post - and straightaway does a Gene Kelly take-off for us, spinning round the lamp-post, singing "I'm singing in the Rain," He's forgotten the catchy tune from My Fair Lady. Now he's got a new one.

Our tour has taken two hours and the gentleman who is now 60 years old, but looks not a day over 40, has been in a good sparkling mood throughout. He rubs his hands: "It's been really good fun with you!" He takes the photographer heartily by the shoulder. He laughs. "Thank you for my trip around My Fair Berlin!"